"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Parable of the Cannery

I went to the Cannery this morning. A few weeks ago, I went to for Dry Pack, which is when you can dry items, like flour, black beans, dry milk, etc. This time, it was Wet Pack. And Wet Pack is a very good description, too. The product? Applesauce.

When we first arrive, we wash hands and they give us gloves, a plastic apron and a color-coded hairnet. For the apples, I was placed at the conveyor belt for coring (if they try to put me anywhere else, I usually ask to switch, on account o' my Bionic Woman-ness). So I'm at this nearly chest-high table (might be lower on taller people but I'm kinda stubby) with several belts moving in different directions. The person I replace gives me a quick lesson on what we're supposed to do and then she gets to leave. So the lady tells me that we're taking off any visible skin blemishes (but bruises are okay) and coring out the bottom of the apple, where the blossom is, saving as much as you can. Finished apples go on the highest belt, lower belt has apples that need work and garbage goes in the outside tract. Then she hands me a prison shank. Well, not really but that's what it looked like: a metal spoon that's been sharpened to a point.

It's pretty loud in there so I can't really carry on a conversation with the people beside me so I start humming the last song that was on the radio. Hmmmm...that was Prince's "Little Red Corvette." Maybe not the best song for this setting. So I switched to the song I was listening to last on the computer, which was "Come, Come Ye Saints." Much better. Now focused properly, I get to work.

So here's where the parable starts.

As I'm coring, I'm noticing the different apples. They aren't all the same kind or the same size. Some are pretty bruised, misshapen, or not quite ripe yet. Some would look at home sitting on a favorite teacher's desk. Then I take the shank to 'em. The bruised apples are battered and not too pretty but the fruit inside is good. Some the apples have large blemishes that are only skin-deep and don't affect the fruit. Others have a small mark that leads to lots of foul gunk inside. Then there are the ones that look perfect but once I get the bottom core out, I see that it is entirely rotten.

The bruised apples are those that have been mistreated, had it rough but are still good despite it all. I think we all know someone who had not such a great life but is a great person.

Blemishes that look bad to the viewer might be those that have been harshly judged for their mistakes. Like the unmarried mother who is shunned by the others at Church. But inside? She's still good.

Even the small sins can lead to big time bad for a person. Don't think that "oh, just this once" isn't going to affect anything.

And the beautiful ones...they certainly look like they have it all. But through some unseen method, they have gone bad. Maybe they were good enough at hiding the sin that no one noticed. It certainly never showed on the outside but it's still there, rotting them inside. Interesting how much the world values the physical beauty and not so much what's on the inside (looking at you, movie stars!).

And then there's the worker. It takes time to prepare the apples and it certainly takes effort. While I was there, I never tossed out an entire apple. No matter how bad it looked from the outside or the inside, I set to work to save as much fruit as possible. And isn't that what the Lord does? No matter what condition you are in, no matter how deep the sin goes, He is still going to make the effort to remove the filth and save all that is good about you.

7 comments:

Amanda said...

Jessie....I am so inspired by your apple analogies! I am loving this post I think I will print it out so I can steal it for a lesson or talk some day...hope ya don't mind:)

Kristie said...

I loved your parable!! Definitley lesson material!! I might have to use it when I am teaching RS one of these days!! :) Thanks for that inspiring parable!

Emma said...

Very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your parable.

Debi said...

Everything is spiritual and I love your insight into your wet-pack canning experience, Jessie. Thanks for sharing!!

Emily said...

I know this is an elephant (giggles)
But has your walking person moved?

Jessica G. said...

Em - Nope. I think he's dead. hehehe...Actually, I haven't been able to walk because the Man's sister's luggage took over the room where my treadmill is located. It's clear now...

Amber said...

Great analogy! Love it!

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